ON THE JOB
Directed by Erik Matti
Director’s Fortnight, 2013 Cannes Film Festival
West Coast Premiere
We open on two men, Tatang (Joel Torre) and Daniel (Gerald Anderson), making their way through a noisy street festival. They spot their target, then finish him off, mafia-style. But Tatang and Daniel are no mafiosos. They’re prisoners who are allowed outside prison walls as guns-for-hire. In these corrupt streets, there must also be cops like Francis (Piolo Pascual), a rising star in the police force who exudes confidence and excellence like his late father. And of course they cross paths with politicians like Manrique (Michael de Mesa), who aspires to be the next Vice President of the Philippines. Francis’s personal involvement with Manrique leads him down a road with no right and wrong, but is one that might lead him to the true circumstances of his father’s death.
The result is an edge-of-your-seat underworld thriller worthy of comparison to those we’ve seen from Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan. Yet there’s something distinct about the social complexity of ON THE JOB, and the way survival conspires against our emotions and morals that is distinct to the Philippines and to the sensibilities of famed director Erik Matti. –Eric Lallana
Co-presented by: SDSU Andres Bonifacio Samahan